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Aust Fam Physician. 2001 Oct;30(10):1010-2.

Hospital in the nursing home. Treating acute hospital problems in nursing home residents using a Hospital in the Home model.

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  • 1Hospital in the Home Unit, Epworth Hospital, Victoria.



Residents of nursing homes are frequently transferred to hospital for the treatment of episodes of acute illness, in particular infectious diseases requiring intravenous therapy. This paper describes the ability of a Hospital in the Home Unit (HHU) to manage acute episodes while the patient remains resident in their nursing home.


Retrospective descriptive survey of all nursing home patients treated in one HHU from January 1996 until May 2001 (65 months). Relevant demographic and clinical outcome measures were extracted from the HHU database.


Twenty-eight patients with a mean age of 81 years were studied. Most patients were resident in a nursing home for dementia. The commonest conditions treated were pneumonia, deep venous thrombosis, renal tract infection and cellulitis. Outcome of treatment was satisfactory in each case. No mortality was recorded.


It may be feasible and safe to treat residents of nursing homes with acute medical conditions in their usual place of residence. A hospital based HHU is well placed to deliver acute medical and nursing care to such residents managing intravenous therapy and lines, allowing the nursing home to continue to manage the resident without physical transfer to hospital.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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